In this issue ofProcess Heating, we bring you a lineup that includes an article that wraps up a six-part series as well as those on selecting dryers for pharmaceutical applications, temperature controller buying tips, infrared temperature sensors used in food processing, and a case history about water cooling for plastics processing.

Throughout 2007, Jay Hudson, P.E., president of J. G. Hudson & Associates, Salisbury, N.C., a specialty engineering firm concentrating in process-related engineering services, has outlined selection tips for the components that make up a thermal fluid system. Past articles in the series addressed choosing the thermal fluid as well as an overview of thermal fluid heater types, pumps concerns and proper expansion tank installation and operation. In “Piping, Valves & Insulation,” Hudson “ties” the system together with a look at piping materials, valves and insulation concerns.

In his article on drying systems for pharmaceutical applications, Francis X. McConville, a senior consultant for Impact Technology Consultants, Lincoln, Mass., notes that drying is a key operation during the production of crystalline active pharmaceutical ingredients (API). Proper drying produces consistent, stable, free-flowing materials suitable for the next stage in the pharmaceutical production process, says McConville in “Tips for Drying Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients.” While a number of dryer types are offered for pharmaceutical applications, conducting a drying study can help you determine where the major resistances to drying occur with your product, McConville notes. The results of such a study can help you identify the best types of drying systems to deliver the characteristics desired in your pharmaceutical products.

In “5 Steps to Choosing a Temperature Controller,” Michael Chhutani, a temperature and humidity product manager with the Love Controls Division of Dwyer Instruments Inc., Michigan City, Ind., outlines a simple process to identifying the amount of control needed for your processes. Temperature and process controllers run the gamut from simple to complex -- from on/off to smart, fuzzy-logic control that responds to feedback from your process. Review Chhutani’s article to learn how to identify how much control is just enough while avoiding unnecessary expense and process complications.

Infrared sensors determine the temperature of an object without making physical contact with it. This noncontact characteristic can be important in applications such as food processing and powder curing, where it is critical to know the temperature of the product rather than the oven air temperature. This case history describes how Casa Herrera Inc., Pomona, Calif., a manufacturer of ovens and other specialty equipment for corn and flour tortilla manufacturing, added noncontact infrared sensors from Raytek Corp., Santa Cruz, Calif., to their food processing equipment. The noncontact technology helps optimize the performance of gas-fired ovens.

Finally, “A Water-Saving Solution for Chilling Plastics” explains how a new chiller system helped Goex Corp., Janesville, Wis., a manufacturer of rigid plastic sheet and roll stock products, reduce its dependence on city water -- and the attendant high water costs. Using the water-cooling system to cool Goex’s sheet-extrusion lines reduced water consumption costs and yielded a two-year payback.

Linda Becker
Associate Publisher & Editor